ARTIST:

Jonathan Meese & Albert Oehlen

Jonathan Meese & Albert Oehlen
Situation, 2003
Oil and Inkjet Print on Wood
208 x 280cm (Collaboration with Albert Oehlen)

Albert Oehlen and Jonathan Meese both make paintings about failure: of the function of art, politics, and ideological systems. Working collaboratively, they explore these terrains in a hard-hitting and overtly humorous way. Situation creates a highly sexed still-life: a mangled-faced female figure reduced to tits and a brain. Dealing with issues of visual ideals and sexual politics, their cyborg superwoman is less an archetype of perfection than the suggestive abstract sculptures on the plinth beside her.

Jonathan Meese & Albert Oehlen
Storm, 2004
Oil and Inkjet Print on Wood
208 x 280cm (Collaboration with Albert Oehlen)

Describing their merger as a courtly affair of awkward politeness punctuated by artistic embarrassment, Albert
Oehlen & Jonathan Meese unite forces as a way to expand both practice and dialogue. Like a conceptual game of tennis, an artwork is begun, and then bantered back and forth until it gains a life of its own. For the artists, it's a way to accept loosing control over a work, explore the possibility of spontaneous action and reaction, and stamp out self-indulgent excess like a bad habit. The end results are both breathtaking and funny. Storm cheekily sets computer-generated porn as the hot-bod for a wild-armed monstress: a goddess of violent temper and salvation.

Jonathan Meese & Albert Oehlen
The Greeting, 2003
Oil and Inkjet Print on Wood
208 x 280cm (Collaboration with Albert Oehlen)

In a collaborative process made simple, Oehlen provides the photographic material and both artists take turns painting around it. None of these works are immediately recognisable as Oehlen or Meese, and that's what makes them so good. Like a nuclear fusion, the two become one; an invincible super-artist refining the best qualities of both.

The Greeting is a ridiculous portrait of a lumpy gangly-armed housewife waving about a feather duster/penis, teetering on glamour model's legs. The render her almost obscenely repulsive, but the sexual delusion of the male gaze is inevitable: the artists' collage in a mirror to peek up her dress.
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